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Landwehr Organisation
Old 01-01-2005, 05:02 AM   #1
Glenn2438
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Default Landwehr Organisation

Of late I have been trying to determine the composition of the prewar Landwehr in Imperial Germany. What is clear is the situation is not clear at all! Up to the Landwehr reorganisation in 1888 even in peacetime there were formed regiments of reservists - the Landwehr. Following this reorganisation the regimental organisation was done away with and the Landwehr was consequently administered by the Landwehr-Bezirkskommando or district headquarters. Each Bezirkskommando was subordinated to a peacetime brigade headquarters and also saw to the enlistment of conscripts and administration of reservists/Landwehrmänner.

Normally an infantry soldier who having served two years active service with a regiment followed by five (usually five and a half) in the reserve would then pass into the Landwehr I. Aufgebot (1st levy). Whilst in the reserve he would be obligated to perform two exercise each not exceeding eight weeks. These he would perform with his original active unit. That is clear. However as a member of the Landwehr 1st levy he was obligated during his time there (about five years for an infantryman) to participate twice in exercises of between 8 - 14 days duration with and I quote special companies and battalions (in besonderen Kompagnien oder Bataillonen). Nowhere can I find any order of battle for peace time Landwehr formations (besides the permanent staff headquarters of the Landwehr-Bezirkskommando) so what were these special companies and battalions? Were they formed on an ad-hoc basis for the limited period of the exercises? Who conducted the exercises? One assumes that they were officered by infantry officers of the Landwehr 1st levy as part of their obligation to train. And finally what were the chaps wearing during these exercises? We have all seen the plethora of diverse clothing worn by Landwehr troops during the war.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Regards
Glenn
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Old 01-01-2005, 10:48 AM   #2
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Glenn I. tried to answer this in the pickelhaube forum. In the words of President ClintonI feel your pain.
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Landwehr Pain!
Old 01-01-2005, 11:09 AM   #3
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Default Landwehr Pain!

Thanks Joe,

I posted a reply there.

Regards
Glenn
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn2438
participate twice in exercises of between 8 - 14 days duration with and I quote special companies and battalions (in besonderen Kompagnien oder Bataillonen). Nowhere can I find any order of battle for peace time Landwehr formations (besides the permanent staff headquarters of the Landwehr-Bezirkskommando) so what were these special companies and battalions? Were they formed on an ad-hoc basis for the limited period of the exercises? Who conducted the exercises? One assumes that they were officered by infantry officers of the Landwehr 1st levy as part of their obligation to train. And finally what were the chaps wearing during these exercises? We have all seen the plethora of diverse clothing worn by Landwehr troops during the war.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Regards
Glenn
Has this anything to do with the landsturm?

I have WW1 EK docs to units like Landsturm bataillon Mannhein, Landsturm inf bat ludwigsberg, Landsturn Inf bat Eisenach etc. etc.

Seems to be the logical connection.

All the best
Chris
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Landwehr
Old 01-01-2005, 03:44 PM   #5
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Default Landwehr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Boonzaier
Has this anything to do with the landsturm?
Hi Chris,

not really. The Landsturm was yet another category of reservist. The main difference being the fact that in peacetime they were not required to participate in any refresher training (as indeed neither were the Landwehr 2nd Levy).

Regards
Glenn
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:53 PM   #6
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Hmm.. (you see the need for what I mentioned to you in my PM )


I thought the regional connection of the bataillons would have been the thing.

All the ebest
Chris
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Landwehr
Old 01-02-2005, 06:53 AM   #7
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Default Landwehr

I just came across this interesting article on the US Command & General Staff College site on a piece called the Organization of the German Army. It appears to be dated from the mid 1890s. Of particular interest is the sentence regarding Landwehr soldiers of the 1st Levy training with an active unit. That being the case I am surmising that the exercising Landwehr troops were formed into Landwehr battalions and companies for the duration of their attachment to a regular army regiment. I have still to find confirmation of this practice in any period German language source.

Regards
Glenn
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:25 AM   #8
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This makes a lot of sense. It's the same way that upon mobilization reservists filled out the active regiments, isn't it? What I do not understand at all is which regiment? I get the impression the landwehr soldiers fell into an unwashed mass. Did different regiments pull soldiers from the same pool? How did regimental affiliation affect the landwehr soldier? What about the landwehr officer? What helmet plate did these dudes wear?
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Plates
Old 01-02-2005, 09:36 AM   #9
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Default Plates

Joe,

presuming a guy was still resident in his normal home district then it follows that he would be affiliated with his former active regiment which was also recruited from the same district. Landwehr officers attended training again in regiments in which district they were domiciled (as opposed to reserve officers who always trained with their original parent regiment regardless of hometown). Prussian Landwehr infantry officers wore the normal Prussian plate with Landwehr cross.

I am not entirely satisfied I have got to the bottom of this yet and hopefully some new additions to the library will shed more light on a grey area!

Regards
Glenn
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Old 01-02-2005, 10:38 AM   #10
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Glenn high hope your new books help solve the problem. The normal Prussian helmet plate with a landwehr cross argument falls apart when you start looking at regiments that have plates unique to the regiment. There is also the issue of all sorts of people, who transferred regiments. I think you are on the cutting edge here. Reference books in English on spiked helmets ignore this issue. As a result, everything is active force oriented. So authors go into great detail on active helmets and then say: oh well by the way reserve forces had crosses. Relative rarity of reserve helmets, and numbers involved is on my project list. I have the source document for the numbers, and I can calculate reserve helmets, however one I get to landwehr I am at complete loss. Low this topic!
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Old 01-02-2005, 11:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerookery
The normal Prussian helmet plate with a landwehr cross argument falls apart when you start looking at regiments that have plates unique to the regiment.
Ah Joe,

but therein lies the difference between a Reserve Officer and a Landwehr Officer. A Landwehr Officer did not have a regimental affiliation in peacetime. He was directly subordinated to the Landwehr District in which he had his permanent residence.

Regarding uniforms: Officers are not the problem! See Knötel/Pietsch/Collas Volume 1 page 272 and plates 146, 147 & 149 in Volume 3. I quote:

Provincial Landwehr Infantry:

For all German contingents: Clothing and equipment as for line infantry officers with Landwehr Cross on the helmet plate instead of the FR, and the insignia of their Landwehr District Brigade number or letter of the Landwehr Inspectorate in gold-plated metal.

The Garde-Landwehr-Infanterie were an exception. Still nominally composed of formed regiments they DID wear the uniform of the corresponding active regiment but the Guard Eagle did not have the scroll or Devisenband and a gold plated Landwehr Cross surmounted the Guard Star.

Regards
Glenn
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Old 01-02-2005, 02:52 PM   #12
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Glenn I have been down this road. I think a far better source is Das Deutsche Reichsheer by Kinckel und Lang pg 81. They say the exact same thing as Knötel in regards to the provincial Prussian landwehr. However, they go on to talk about the specifics of regiments 91 through 96. There are specific differences in the wappen between reserve and landwehr officers of regiment 92. How can you have no regimental affiliation, but still have specific plates for the regiments? If you are in Bezirke I from Oldenburg. Does that mean you have a plate from regiment 91? Does it even mean, you are going to be in regiment 91? I never finish this. The reason I thought that the Ruhmeshalle would be useful is that we would determine what the starting position and numbers were for the landwehr units. Does any of this make sense?
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Krickel
Old 01-02-2005, 04:01 PM   #13
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Default Krickel

Hi Joe,

unfortunately I don't have all the answers. I have just consulted Krickel & Lange and am still of the opinion that the Landwehr officers were uniformed as per the brigade. It may well be that those Bezirks where the permanent staff wore a special plate, then so did the Landwehr officers in the brigade area. It would obviously make sense for the Landwehr Officers in a Mecklenburg Bezirk for instance to wear a Mecklenburg plate.

With regards to wartime it should be borne in mind that the Landwehr units were by and large formed at mobilisation from the corresponding active unit with the same number and would in all probability have worn the corresponding plate. The difficulty is more with the reserve regiments which were NOT in most cases based on the active unit with the same number!

Best regards
Glenn
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Old 01-02-2005, 09:43 PM   #14
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What do mean you don't have all the answers!!The landwehr numbers don't match the active numbers either.The problem is I don't know which number is which. I don't think it's as simple as brigades As you can get several individual regiments with unique plates in one Brigade. For a while, I thought I could focus in on one Corps, figure out the Corps and get some answers. I looked 11th Corps the but got distracted. The good news is that you are looking at it as hard as I have. What we need is a matrix.One that shows active unit, reserve unit,and landwehr unit.And then once we get that far we need to talk about landsturm.Aren't you glad we're still young?
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:29 PM   #15
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Thirteen years later, not so young anymore and still no answers?
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